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Howard Warns of Difficulty Winning Third Term

Prime Minister Howard has warned the coalition of the dangers of assuming a third election victory is assured.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that Howard told the NSW Liberal Convention on the weekend that every election was different and nothing should be taken for granted.

The warning is timely given the recent outcome of the Victorian election. It now appears that third terms for governments are increasingly hard to secure. The Kennett government won two landslide victories in 1992 and 1996, but was defeated in 1999.

The Goss Labor government in Queensland won two solid victories in 1989 and 1992, but was reduced to a majority on one in 1995, losing office in 1996 following a by-election loss.

The Liberal government led by Nick Greiner in NSW won a big victory in 1988, but was reduced to minority status in 1991, and was out of office in 1995.

The South Australian Liberal government was elected in a landslide in 1993, but saw its majority whittled away in 1997.

In Tasmania, a Greens-backed Labor government lasted only one term from 1989, and the Liberal government was defeated in its attempt to win a third term in 1998.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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